Buried Post Paid Cellular Customers

Only couple of years ago, bearing a post paid connection was considered a high profile element, and as a status symbol. Then people used to judge others’ status by the type of connection one had. It was then a highly praised element, and deservingly so, as post-paid costumers used to get lot of attention and care from telecom operators; in terms of services and the advantages as well.

Post paid customers, who are no doubt very small in numbers, easily share the optimum part of revenues generated per head ratio (what we say it, Average Revenue per User, ARPU) for telecom companies.

World over, it is observed that post-paid costumers get least paying packages, mainly depending on the amount of monthly rent they pay to operators. These attractive post paid tariffs not only surround the voice traffic, but the data traffic is also offered at inexpensive rates.

However, the scenario, in a gradual form, started transforming and now the situation is entirely opposite to what we had few years back. Today, offerings are very limited with least benefits for post paid users when compared to pre-paid ones.

PTA notes here the tariffs for pre-paid cellular packages as of April 8, 2008 and here the post paid packages as of May 7, 2008.

We can not develop an equation to directly compare the both type of packages for all cellular companies, due to line rent and other constraints, but if we summarize the difference in a tabular form, the picture looks like below for Mobilink packages.

Mobilink Post Paid (As of May 9, 2008)

Mobilink Post Paid Tariff Plans

*Rs. 1.25/minute is charged in addition to airtime charges for calls to other mobile networks, and Rs. 0.52/minute will be charged in addition to airtime charges for calls to fixed lines
Note: all prices are exclusive of 15 % CED

Remarks: Seems, you pay your line rent for your free minutes…other than that, air time seems good, but off net calls are simply expensive, take this Freedom Plan 3, with 400 line rent, you will have to pay 2.50 for your off net calls, 15% CED will make Rs. 2.88 for your off-net calls. Freedom unlimited packages are maybe only used at PCOs or for top executives, (pardon, I had to relate two entirely different classes under one package) so lets forget them

Mobilink Pre Paid (as of May 9, 2008)

Mobilink PrePaid Tariff Plans

*Rs. 5 per hour, on all on-net calls made after 11:00 PM and before 7:00AM
**Different Rates at different Times
Note: all prices are exclusive of 15 % CED

Remarks: Healthy, useful packages…with ladies first, the lovers’ package, other wise, jazz budget impressed me. And if you are SMS buddy, then select Jazz Octane.

Special Note: You can get Unlimited SMS for 1 month for Rs. 100 or 500 SMS for Rs. 50, or 100 SMS for Rs. 15 as well ; – )


Mobilink PrePaid Vs PostPaid Comparison

Ok this comparison says it all, do I need to comment anything further?

I will put the comparison for other companies too, and believe me, they look even worse for post paid users than of this Mobilink.

I own a Ufone post-paid connection for last 3 years, and I am so much jealous of pre-paid folks, the way they are getting treats is incredible. It is to be noted that pre-paid packages keep on changing every 3rd if not 2nd month. Or they keep on getting bundle offer every month. What’s there for the pos-paid ones??? All of you, who have post-paid customers, will second my voice, that we are over-charged as well. It has happened so many times with me at least, and others those I know.

Khalid Omer has opined his experience in TGP

Post paid customers are getting gypped, if I could change over to a pre-paid package without losing my number I would. There really are no incentives at all for post-paid users. The main theory is that since they will switch less, you can charge more. Which is true… but on the flip side post-paid users generally have a very consistent billing pattern which any company would like to have.

Mobilink for example gives zero incentive (I would say negative incentive) to their corporate customers (unless you’re the size of a bank or something) – so if some other company like Telenor came up with a incentive to switch over the entire company, than a lot of ppl would take them up on it.

So should we quit with our post-paid numbers now? Only option left I guess, as cellular companies seems enjoying themselves with pre-paid flood.

Note: I had written this post on May 9th, 2008. Just though of re-sharing it

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK